Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sleeping at the Haneda TIAT Sky Lounge!

the public lounge...

AA has had some great deals to Japan, trying to get people on their new Tokyo flights. Haneda Airport is about 45 min from Asakusa, and a quick and efficent subway ride from all the attractions, the bad thing is that Tokyo Public transportation closes down from midnight till just before 5 AM, and the AA flight gets into Haneda at 10:15 and leaves at 6:40 AM, so it's a mad dash to catch one of the alst trains of the night and leaves amny people in a diifcult position, take a cab to Haneda (while less than Narita, spending US$ 80 on a cab just doesn't fit my profile), plus I could spend the money on booze or other flights...

At first, I had booked myself for two nights in a hostel in Asakusa, but the more I looked at it, the more I realized I would be sleeping at Haneda before my flight, so cancelled the second night at the Hostel and after 15 hours walking around town, grabbed my bag from the Hostel and took a well deserved shower...

So I made my way to Haneda, I was exhausted and dead after sleeping almost nothing, drinking at the Hostel after my flight and sleeping only 3 hours... so I was up and exploring the city at 5 AM...

AA check-in desks were closed, it was 8 hours before the flight, but I was able to use the kiosk to get my boarding pass. I think Delta has a LAX fight that leaves close to midnight, so if you are flying Delta you can either get your boarding pass from a self service machine (this only works if you have carryons or had your luggage interlined already). 

So with my boarding pass in hand, I went out and found the public lounge at Haneda, a great little gem, unlike other lounges that require business class or above boarding passes or elite cards, this one was open to all for just Y1000, around 12 bucks... a bargain, no free booze, but they have unlimited Sodas, Water, teas, Coffees and some decent prices for food and booze. Y300 or 400 for a beer (no beer machines).
Juices, Cokes and Water... :)

main area of the lounge, sorry for the horrible lighting...

desks and common area of the lounge

The best part is that it is open 24 hours a day, so even if the JAL lounge closes at 1 AM< you can stay all night at Haneda and don't worry about missing your flight.  The lounge also offers several little cubicles with a sofa and leg erst, which make for a decent sleeping option. Set your cell phone alarm and it's better than several of the hostels I've slept in..

my bed.. the pillow is attached to the sofa by a small cable... weird...
looks like a cubicle farm
Ok, everything so far seems great, but there are a few downsides... this lounge is located AFTER security, so you need a boarding pass to reach it. I have another HND flight this week and since my next flight leaves out of NRT, I will be sleeping in the terminal without access to this lounge :(. Also around 10 PM it can get kinda crowded, since 1000 Yen is nothing compared to the cost of a hotel, you might feel crowded, but after all this a public lounge, so you can't expect it to be a Concorde Room a la London hehe

Overall, if you have to catch the early morning AA or Delta flight, this is a great and cheap choice!

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